Egypt jails two policemen to life over torture killing

Police abuses under former president Hosni Mubarak were a key factor for the 2011 uprising that led to his ouster. (File photo: AP)

An Egyptian court sentenced two policemen to life in jail for torturing to death a man in custody, in the third such verdict this month, a judicial source said.

A court in the Nile delta city of Tanta sentenced Lieutenant Ahmed al-Kafrawi and Sergeant Hani Salah in absentia to life behind bars for killing Ismail Abdelhamid in October last year.

The two fugitives were also handed a year in jail for violence against another detainee, the source said.

Under Egyptian law, they will be given a new trial if they are arrested or turn themselves in.

Rights groups regularly accuse the regular police and members of the secret police of abusing and torturing detainees.

Saturday’s judgement was the third this month for a death in custody, after President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned that police officers found guilty of “committing mistakes” would be punished.

On Dec. 12, an Egyptian court sentenced two secret policemen to five years in prison for beating to death an imprisoned lawyer in a Cairo police station in February.

The verdict came two days after another court sentenced an officer to five years for beating to death a suspect in a drug case in the Nile delta town of Rashid.

The prosecutor general has also ordered 13 policemen to stand trial next month for beating to death a man in custody in the southern city of Luxor in November.

Police abuses under former president Hosni Mubarak were a key factor for the 2011 uprising that led to his ouster.

One of the triggers of the revolt was the case of a young man, Khaled Saeed, tortured to death by police after his arrest in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.

Mubarak was succeeded in 2012 by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Mursi, who lasted a year in power before his ouster by the army following massive rallies demanding his resignation.

Mursi’s overthrow unleashed a deadly crackdown on his supporters in which thousands have been detained, and accusations of ill treatment in prisons are common.

The interior ministry has said it does not condone torture but says there have been “individual” cases of abuses.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46